Abstract Earth: Photography by Richard Woldendorp

join Visual Arts e-news at QUT Art Museum

[Print-friendly version]

Richard Woldendorp Top of Curtis Island, Cape Capricorn, north-east of Gladstone, Queensland, 1997. Courtesy of the artist.
Richard Woldendorp Top of Curtis Island, Cape Capricorn, north-east of Gladstone, Queensland, 1997. Courtesy of the artist.

5 February 2009 to 5 April 2009

Sixty of Woldendorp's most memorable aerial landscapes that have the power and presence of large abstract paintings.

In recent years, the book The Earth from the Air by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has become an international best-seller, while an exhibition of his aerial landscapes has toured the world. But before Arthus-Bertrand ever picked up a camera, Dutch-born Richard Woldendorp (born1927), had already begun to stake a claim as Australia's foremost landscape photographer.

Woldendorp's first aerial landscapes date from the 1960s. Over the following four decades he has developed a substantial body of work that has featured in numerous books and exhibitions.

This long overdue exhibition surveys sixty of Woldendorp's most memorable aerial landscapes that have the power and presence of large abstract paintings.

Curated by John McDonald and R. Ian Lloyd

What the visitors are saying:

  • Hi my name is Min-Ru (Taiwanese). Wow. I love your photographs. It's very amazing. Thank you to show these good photos. Expect your next show.
  • Beautiful INTENSE colours... love the "Big Bird" (top left) in "Farmland Nort of Mullewa"!!! Ali Braybrooks
  • Some looked like paintings when I first saw them, even close up. I especially like the red sunset dune and shadow. Also the brown sand (vertical). All the best, Michael Priest (also, "Ploughing Northern NSW". I imagine you already produce large prints for sale)
  • Beautiful works. Ursula
  • I lived in W.A. for a couple of years - miss that red dirt. Thank you for the -- memories! Trish Callaghan. NSW
  • These show that nature has all the artistic composition and colour combinations we could ever dream up. A painter's delight of an exhibition. Benjamin Eloy. QLD
  • Beautiful photographs, they almost look like paintings! I want to buy a print :)
  • An eye-opener - what beautiful pattern one can find in nature and when man and nature are combined. V. R
  • These picture are so stunning it makes me want to cry! Beautiful such an emotive display of our amazing country - how do the Aboriginals know the land patterns? They are from the land I guess??
  • I like the picutres. The pictures are weird but good.
  • Wow absolutely sensational
  • This is really beautiful. The display of nature is breathtaking. Elizabeth
  • Because I really do like landscapes. I do like haivng (sic) a look around. It'll be interesting already
  • Michelle, Jessie and Maddy: We like this :)
  • Richard Woldendorp: Aboslutely stunning - a traveller
  • As we live on the surface of this planet we forget that by taking a step backwards, or upwards, we see so much more that is beautiful. Thank you for reminding me of this. Lana x
  • We think it is beautiful. Elizabeth and Kate x
  • Richard, I love your work. Donna
  • Amazing, unique - a magic visual experience - Barb Raft
  • Really beautiful artwork and photography. Quite amazing. - Katrina
  • Original, visionary, fascinating. Think do "Mother Nature is the best artist"
  • Absolutely fantastic!
  • Wonderful - amazing visual experience
  • Awesome but I could do better than some of these. PS Other than that it was cool. More love xoxox
  • The pictures hear (sp) are perfect but some can be BETTER from my point of view
  • Art is awesome xo
  • Fascinating photographs. Too bad the lights are too low. Pat Baille, Photographer
  • Unique perspectives. Vibrant colours and amazing views. Katherine Fitzhywel, Melbourne
  • These art works are illusive to the eye and are very "clever" to me!
  • The pictures are very well done and look effective
  • Richard Woldendorp - artwork has express the Australian in ways I have never seen before, very inspirational to lok at. Very well done. I love your work. Van Nguyen
  • Congratulations! It was fantastic!
  • Interesting, breathtaking, wonderful and more. Love MSM girls
  • We loved it - it was great. MSM
  • it was amazing to see nature's painting through Richard's eyes. A peaceful inspiring haven. Kate
  • As a photography student I sat here and gazed and gazed for the longest time... hopeing that one day I too can create works of art like this. Love Amy
  • Hard to believe we're looking at photographs from real landscapes. How to recognise what is shown? What is the scale? Impressive!
  • I think it's really cool how he can make photographs look like a painting
  • We enjoyed it very much. Thank you! Sweden
  • I find it extremely hard to blieve that W's photos aren't manipulated in any way. I would like to know his technique, but no explanation is forthcoming. Artist secret of dishonesty?
  • Fantastic pictures. These remind me of why my neck is always SO SORE when I get out of a plane... in many it difficult to get a sense of scale or even perspective. WOW!! Time Brontince
  • Awesome to see the world from a different perspective... How much photoshopping did you do? Lucas, 11
  • Spectacular! ...As is the landscape...
  • Awe inspiriing. Mark Puiskes & Rose McDonell
  • Luv da digital prints. Fantastico!
  • He is up to his usual high standard. RFA
  • It's amazing how everyday landscape looks awesome from far away. -Ed
  • Awesome! Shelley & Michael
  • Wonderful. Jacky
  • This is the best landscape art I have every seen! Judy D.
  • Fantastic. Leonie
  • Beautiful, Harry Potter, Amazing. -Wmac
  • Stunning photography! Anika - England
  • I think the photos are amazing!!! Laura WMAC
  • Unbelievable how the earth's patterns look from the sky! Amazing, amazing.
  • Knowledge, experience, expansion!!
  • Beautiful photographs. -David
  • Stunning, stunning work - the difference between looking and seeing. Judi E.
  • Absolutely fascinating. Wish I was up there myself. May
  • Beautiful work, landscape picture are breathtaking. Sanchia
  • Metade confuso metade muitobom. Half confuse half really good. Marvo.
  • I just feel like falling into these photos. They are mesmerising. Anne Marel
  • Truly a brilliant piece of work! Ben
  • Truly amazing! Hard to believe these are photos. Brilliant work!!! Pat
  • A most amazing exhibition of work - brilliant! Betty
  • Stunning, beautiful, breathtaking shots. Loved every one.
  • A struggle not to lick or dive into the prints. Lovely!
  • Amazing --- -- -- areas. Well presented
  • The natural landscape is truly amazing, especially through the eyes of such a gifted photographyer. Robyn
  • Absolutely wonderful. Thank you x
  • Ant clearings. Puts our efforts in perspective
  • Magnificent! Collen and Ron
  • You've done it Richard. What I wanted to paint. You've caught it. BRAVO!
  • Beautiful works, by abstracting the image you have brought out its beauty. L.M.
  • Photography just awesome. Incredible. Thank you. J. McKeen
  • Lovely play with images. Contemporary and refreshing. R.
  • Am surprised that someone the age of my mum "sheep with walking tracks"in 1986 when you were both presumably 59 or something. Naturally I was younger, but that remains my secret. One example of a piece of Art I would look at everyday (if I could)
  • Beautiful works of nature. Barry
  • These are some of the most amazing photographs of the landscape. I love your use of colour, orm and composition. If you have a book, I want to buy it! So inspiring! Hayley Freestun
  • Amazing exhibition - highlights the beauty and uniqueness of this amazing country. Christine
  • Love your work. Amazing. Fara
  • Wonderful. Thank you
  • That was splendid. Quite astonishing.
  • Photography was outstanding. Absolutely superb.
  • A totally new perspective on these landscapes - thank you. Kate
  • Amazing! I don't have the words to describe what I'm feeling. Gracies. Atza from Barcelona
  • It's amazing!! Thank you! Jason
  • If words could describe how I am feeling after traversing through the artistic labyrinths of the QUT Art Gallery, through the myriad of wonderful scenes, I would have to say that I found it be ok. Proff Motley
  • A calming and dramatically awesome experience!
  • Brilliant! Much better than my aimless wanderings over Google Earth, but where are the crop circles (only kidding). Abstract and real together, who would have thought it was possible. Student
  • Wow wow! Very amazing! Inor Ron. Philippines
  • Amazing the photography look more like paintings - brilliantly displayed. Rosco
  • My favourite photo is the "sheep trails" - they seem to walk in straight lines! And not to wander about in more circular ways. Beautiful exhibition, wonderful colours. Denise and Alan Dayboro
  • I'm from the Canadian prairies and particularly liked the wheat harvest. Lovely Art museum. Joan Walsh. Winnipeg, Canada
  • Some photographs look like they are taken from --- (?) until you get close to them. Amazing! The Earth truly is a wonderful place. Neil, QUT
  • Best photography exhibition I have EVER been to. Jenny Molles. Qld
  • Beautiful. These photos = ART!
  • Great photos. Jono
  • Fantastic!! From Jade Huxham
  • It is a great display! Awesome. Jenny Qld
  • It is so awesome! Sarah, Qld
  • It is absolutely wonderful. Amazing. Lyndal, 12
  • Nature is always unbelievable. I like these photos. Arhanaz from South Korea
  • Really amazing picture!!
  • The photos are just amazing, they look like paintings!
  • His photos are brilliant. I've been following his work for years.
  • We really enjoyed seeing natural earth in this way - very perceptive. F. Hand UK
  • Amazing. Alex Litherland
  • Gawjous, just gawjous! Alex
  • Nice to see how a "Dutch" artist has an exhibition here. Very creative. Anlie, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • A wonderful display, leaving with a cool profound feeling. Sonia Davies
  • Didn't know landscapes could look like this. Wow!
  • Excellent - amazing a credit to the artist.
  • Every interesting images, between Yann Arthus-bertraud and Mario Giacomelli
  • Found most pieces quite sexual. Maybe the fat that I am quite without boundaries caused this involuntary response. Prof MacGonagle
  • Amazing! MH
  • Beautiful. I wonder if Richard could take pictures the other way around - of the clouds lying on his back on the earth? Bill
  • Thank you for sharing your journies with us.
  • Stunning - thanks!
  • Thank you Richard for some great images which show the abstract behind the actual and texture and from behind the obvious. Groeten Paul Dieleuceus. PS I love the horizontal views and also the ones that challenge whether you are looking from above, or from below?!
  • Wow! Fantastic.
  • Thank you for the photographs and am curious about the colour mixture. Jean and Frizz Jonah
  • Wonderful - thank you. Gill
  • Fabulous photos.
  • I really enjoyed that.